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Mark Bowden Education. (2012) 'The Finish The Killing of Osama Bin Ladin.' New.

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Pakistan 7, Afghanistan 4, Obama 4, Iraq 4, Cia 3, United States 3, Bush 3, Mcchrystal 3, United 2, America 2, Osama Bin 2, Michael Morrell 2, Navy 2, Rhodes 2, David Petraeus 2, Bet 1, Nyu 1, Agco 1, Sam Cooke 1, General Lewis 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Mark Bowden  Education.  (2012) 'The  
   Finish The Killing of Osama Bin Ladin.' New.  

    November 18, 2012
    8:00 - 9:00pm EST  

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>> the u.s. defense agency
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has said information and intelligence are the fire and maneuver of the 21st century. those of you who are familiar with more fighting back since with pakistan, iraq and afghanistan know how important this has become but though one raid did iraq where operator seized the computer equivalent of the rolodex negative a rolodex that tracked 500 al qaeda suicide bombers or terrace filtered into iraq through syria. but the database of 500 individuals that were
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recruited to blow themselves up was critical with the effort to take al qaeda at it is in mesopotamia apart inside iraq. >> the mother lode of documents seized that has been known as the sinjar parade illustrates the point* nicely made by lt. general lewis, or flynn six years after a 9/11 attacks that intelligence committees representing a wide variety of agencies, but notorious and secret, had been collaborating on the unprecedented capability to crush the terrorist networks. addition to the special ops they used supercomputers and custom software for deployed
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a skilled and list and to charge just about every type of intel into searchable data weather tips or documents from the old fashioned spy network, but transcripts from interrogation, logs of surveillance, monitoring, ce llphones and computers and the images and sensory readings hovering high and silent over potential targets for days or months or years. few of them are clearly related and they would previously remade headed a bank account shared by the hezbollah official with those two known suicide bombers with the slate american soldier with the
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paymaster in the computer instantly draws a thread between datapoint that would otherwise remained disconnected. to eliminate secret network said one -- once they are made the operatives nowhere and whom to hit next. in the case of sinjar raid mcchrystal took a surprising step to declassify all material and turned it over to the combat center so they could take a crack at it. and general mcchrystal feels that data and the analysis produced is instrumental and the success they had bid 2,008 to decapitate al qaeda albert -- operations in iraq.
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it dropped 80% over the next 83rd nine months and they have remained a lower 54 be invaded 2003. and new tactics and methods and tools that the attacks on september 11 dallas along stan dain progress the osama bin laden movement posted a new kind of threat to a global network of well-founded suicidal killers with no fixed address. the vast arsenal, the nuclear stockpiles the army and navy and the bureaucratic structure for surveillance compass buying and analysis was to mood
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deter attacks and who would dare with the response would be swift and fatal and unstoppable? would if they came from nowhere? the answer was information. finding the enemy has been one of the most basic challenges of war. adjust up the level of difficulty scattered all over the world using to mccue petitions giving the complexity the use of saddam's and the tricks of this by kraft how is the new enemy to be found? that sinjar raid rolodex shows how. six years later still haunted by the the finance image united states of america had won strong consolation it figured out
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how to fight back. >> wed read talk about the raid that killed '07 bonded from a that is the real story. this story of how the united states use the capability to find people that are very difficult to find and targeting them barack obama gave a speech now famous in chicago that the anti-war rally against the pending invasion of iraq and obama's there to speak against invading iraq. but he wasn't comfortable this is the anti-war rally in their renault's who show up and he felt that of place
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even though he was close to invade iraq the point* was he was not against all wars but believed summer necessary and it just citing instances where that was the case. fed he felt the appropriate target were the leaders of the al qaeda who planned the attacks and he said i would take up arms against al qaeda myself. and maybe then he had dreams to become president of the united states but could not have been fish should powell to have his finger audit trigger. that no american impressive dance except president bush
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he is directly involved in the fight against terrorism and al qaeda. to the degree he could not have imagined to take up arms myself. i have good writing stories my whole life. it is says simple as 78 on the page sustain this you have discovered to organize their present the information. once you are past that stage the art of telling those stories demand you digest all of the material you gathered and the league in
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terms of how to tell it. what is this story about? who are the central characters what moves the story forward? where does of story began? and? most people that think about writing true stories you don't have to make those decisions for yourself but you do. history does not stop for start added 8.you as a writer have to make decisions that where do i want to the story to begin? where does the story and what is it about? that is what i have tried to
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accomplish. to become of the story begins on september 11 and, 2001 so i relate the story of 9/11 through the eyes to a number of those who would be and the story through the end including barack obama and michael morrell who was a deputy director of this cia who was president bush's national security briefer and had given his morning briefing when all hell broke loose and he spent the day flying with the president and gave me the prospective have that day was perceived with the inner circle. and said agco commander who
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had had a severe parachuting accident. he broke his bill this man was in a hospital for a while. and then had them moves abetted to his home. literally in his hospital bet at home watching on television as the attacks of september 11 to place. he spent his time serving as steel unit's commanding seal team six that the united states would go to war and his unit and the men would go to war and basically he was left out. he was not in any condition to walk at that point*. interesting to see where he
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ends up 10 years later. for my purposes that is registered its. to be, other trade that killed loathsome a bin laden as exciting as it is that is the last 40 minutes of the tenure story the most remarkable is the abolition to target people and all that has gone into it and in particular have this works and out of some of the modern was found. why did it take 10 years? the answer is more remarkable because if you want to hide in today's world you cut yourself off completely from the telecommunications grid, you never call home to talk to
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anyone and move to one spot and you never leave. and he'd never left the compound. never people in the compound who did not know a some of the bonded was living upstairs. that is how deep he buried himself. his only communication was with his support of its he would write a long letter sent a courier would give it to another and another and they would pass along until it got to the intended target. that is the guy who was doing everything right. it is truly remarkable story
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of getting there is a remarkable you should of intelligence and special operations that i described in the brief reading that i talked about in detail from the book this does not bear directly on bin laden himself by found fascinating concept of getting inside the information cycle have you heard that? if you launch a special operations raid you either kill or capture within hours everyone within the circle and network knows they have been compromised. they are god. they trashed the so-called safe and the hard drive and they vanish. if you can get to the
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secondary targets you have gotten inside the information cycle. how? by linking special operators with the computer database and stated the art software to draw the lines to make the connections so sometimes within minutes of ticking up a cellphone, let you know, not only who are the primary contacts were but where they are. i don't mean generally but where they are right now. you can hit them before they are where the primary target has been hit that is the basic strategy to begin dismantling terrorist
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organizations and that is what we tried to do it afghanistan and pakistan. we have gotten very good at this. a lot of the actions does not take place in afghanistan are pakistan by and washington d.c.. where the story takes place president obama almost daily
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gets the target some within a crosshairs of the cia and obama or director petraeus have to make a decision about whether to shoot at the target or take them out. have had to make critical decisions of hundreds of thousands of lives throughout the history of the country but it seems to be a new development on individual targets around the world. and it defines the nature of the war that we're fighting 26 greenwood take up arms is
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now quite literally doing that and has to make good decision each day whether to pull the trigger or not. to show the abolition of his thinking he makes the calls. if you go back to 9/11 obama was interviewed of his reaction shortly after it happened and it was more like calling for the global where fifth day shoulder campaign. he's got the best they should spend more money to address the underlying roots of islamist extremists of and he did mention it would be worthwhile to dismantle the terrorist organizations that had arranged the attack.
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the vast majority of american people were not thinking of dismantling al qaeda but trashing, burning and hanging it from the highest peak. but that is a response to 9/11. but looking at speeches and his rating those who is beginning to grapple in a much more direct way more than we have to for national security it has not been remarked upon the death is extraordinary we've negative -- after being awarded the nobel peace prize after being elected
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president, he delivers what is the only pro wars speech ever given it acceptance of the nobel peace prize. he argues for the necessity of war. the bill before american power that this was a fairly remarkable speech. and with the remote targeting for terrorists says to be people's expectations of a president were misguided and clearly was not that. with his decision to go after a some of the monegan. when i talk about main characters to do analysis
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for the military, i am the storyteller with the arc of characters. admiral mullen going from zero wheelchair who gets the opportunity they can use his brain. says lou to apply what he has learned of special ops to the problem of al qaeda. it is not by coincidence he is second to in command to succeed general mcchrystal as commander. when it comes time to launch the mission against bin
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laden to present to the president what he thinks his men can do if that is the option to pursue. a minor character then rhodes was a graduate student at nyu but the interest gravitated toward the real world and became a speech writer, worked on capitol hill and worked for obama's being the person the white house and was supposed to draft statements if they killed bin laden what they would say if they failed there was seriously bady bad possibilities that had to be worked through and thought
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about in advance. that was an interesting story line. michael morrell is interesting he went from president bush's brief per one 9/11 two rising to become chief of analysis that the cia during the bush term. he will tell you he was one of those ultimately responsible to deliver the opinion said don hussain was delivering -- harboring weapons of mass destruction and understands that was one of the biggest intelligence failures and takes responsibility. it haunts him to this day and he took responsibility for assessing intelligence if it was bin laden. some of the president and to
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get estimates of likelihood all over the map with cia analyst telling him weird 95% sure and the deputy director says 60%. and list from the center from 20% through 40% how do account for that? why is there such a wide variety loved all of certainty? morales said it depends on your experience in life. working as an analyst have had a lot of success to find
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targets they are confident of their methods and ability reflected in how confident they are. then you have somebody like me that i was more certain their weapons of mass destruction in iraq them this is osama bin laden. i don't care if i had an eyewitness you will not get more than a 60% assessment out of me. the president told me he felt all of these levels amounted to efforts to disguise the uncertainty and this was the 50/50 call and decided to launch the mission.
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i think it is amazing. people said that is a decision anybody would have made. the only thing i am qualified to speak about is how he handled this episode. this was not an easy call. some aspects were gutsy. the two options he blade were firing a small missile at the target, the pacer they could observe about the size of my forearm fired from a drum so small i doubt pakistan would ever have known it flew in and out. there's no downside your risk, no american forces, it is a very reliable lap band
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but this fire and forget to and will hit the accord nets that you give it. so there is a chance and we killed the man in the compound. so that is a fairly attractive option. but if you mess the target is gone for good that you would not know for certain to kill the wrong person on the other hand, a squadron of seals when you think of how that could have gone to
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hell is scary. they had to think about it you are putting american lives at risk to be wounded or killed. then what happens if they are there and are bogged down? a bunch of women who tells them bin laden lives there but does not find him but they look for the fake walls and bonkers and they are bogged down and suddenly you have a small for surrounded and what will they do? and interesting way we think we should hunker down and the compound to hold our
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position to negotiate our extraction. the president said no. if you go you need to be prepared to fight their way out. we will not so of the mission was beefed up to bring in david petraeus that was commanded of all forces in afghanistan and they had backup forces ready just across the border to fight and air force jets on alert to escort the helicopters out of pakistan. the president embraced to go to war with pakistan.
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one of the things they have to do what will we do if we should down pakistani planes who do we call first? all of these things have to be thought through. it is not like the president considered this could go bad. despite all that's for the reasons they wanted to make sure they would go after the break target and they needed met on the ground. also they would need intelligence at that site. third, admiral who had
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commanded thousands of missions reassuring the president we can do this to get a and and get out before the pakistan forces obama is characterized as of cool academic mind by he told me the decision came down that he could feel entrusted that make graven had experience to get in and get out i do think it is interesting whether not to announce they have killed been lauded to wait and tell we got dna confirmation as imagine the embarrassment that you
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killed been lauded but you haven't. i was watching the sunday night baseball game and then i heard the chance u.s.a.. u.s.a.. the announcer said meander stand the united states had killed osama bin bonded an hour and a half it was announced to the world. the adr that they could wait to announce was ludicrous. as the number of people who know the truth began to grow there are folks there who are in and around the facility in the facebook post starts posting and let
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that be less than to those who want to bandage it permission. i have been doing this 40 years and it is one of the ku list i have had the opportunity to write. to bring the law instead tape-recorded and cassette and with the limited amount of time so to get off on a tangent had using the law insted tape-recorded and cassette and with the limited amount of time so to get off on a tangent had use say excuse mr. president, i get back on task? he was extremely direct and concise but as i look down the tape recorder had gone dead at some point*. this is never happened
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before. i have been working 40 years. i usually check throughout the conversation but in this case because it was the president i was preoccupied and neglected to check down there. i found out later five minutes into the conversation with a more important ones i had done then then rhodes was there i said i was panicking. by recorder died. he said don't worry we record everything. we will get you a transcript [laughter] thank you very much. i will take questions.
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>> we will be on booktv. >> with other intelligence cruise as a journalist i am sure you don't mind information and coming to you but where is the balance between publicizing success with the operational integrity where it is the fire maneuver of the century? >> it is a responsibility that i have. i worked on the story from the day bin laden was killed. someone drop documents in my lap or call these surreptitiously but then
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nobody leaked overt -- anything much to my chagrin. often that is not the case. so the notion that happens but with a powerful conflict in our society between my role and your goal who has taken an oath to have a legal responsibility to not gone david petraeus store to sit down and talk, which we did for the book, know that he knows what information needs to be protected. he will not tell me things he should not.
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he may occasionally say this is off the record. zero you need to come back to see if i can use it. i do that. i go spend time worrying he knows better than i do. we're not there chatting over lunch especially when dealing with high levels that the cia there very caddie about talking to reporters. man couple of occasions i have affirmation i withheld at the request of the source. are you sure it is okay to write about this? i don't want to jeopardize
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anyone's life for an ongoing operation but i take my responsibilities seriously. we need to know whether government is doing and we ultimately will make the decision what direction we applaud to go some my job is to find out as much as we can. at the cia conference they called me to talk about mogadishu would of the most interesting complex so i said sure. the same guys said i forgot to ask you your security clearance. i said you kidding? i am a journalist it would be negative.
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[laughter] >> as you know, sir, drums are a highly debated topic the government, the u.n., how do you weigh yen? also the second question do feel al qaeda is more or less defeated after killing of some of bin laden? >> with drones there is a significance day significant advance of humanitarian warfare. the three principals are necessity, determination and proportionality. is a city meeting are the people you are fighting is there some way to deal with those on the bin laden and
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and al-zawahiri other than capturing them? i come down on the side of no. making sure you target the right people and the striking targets with the level of course, the diss required and no more. they give the ability to make sure you hit the right target. at the don't make mistakes that there is a better chance to reach the 100% goal with the drone they add a show are dropping bob and proportionality. you can try one of the options was to bomb the compound to smithereens
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killing every man the, will become a child, bench again again, child and go outbid a 500-mile radius and levies smoking coal and the president's credit dismiss that immediately. trying to target one individual drones are a major advancement. there is a scary side that if countries can single out and target individuals individuals, without any risk to their own personnel or significant or director risks it makes it tempting the easy to do and as of now the cia and white house has not made public the due
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process of who is a legitimate target? if it is appropriate so my only criticism of the drone program is we need to become more transparent how we arrive at these decisions because of a democracy it is important for the public to understand what the government is doing in our name. with al qaeda, there is confusion the militias fly the al qaeda flag to attract recruits but they are no more capable to pull off 9/11 then my kiwanis club. i could get together with a
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people down the street to fly the marine corps flag the does not make me capable today taiwan's. the 9/11 attacks was sophisticated that spent bereday quarter of a million dollars to record suicide hijackers to transport them to the united states come of light trading, at the precise court needed time, what of the most extraordinarily sophisticated terrorist operations in history. that is all but dead in my opinion. it was when did not and was killed but it was one of the reasons i call this the finish so this is a finished piece but the problem of
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terrorism will never go away but unless we fall asleep at the switch there are fewer of them today. >> i was like to ask sam cooke you wrote an editorial on the politicalization of the osama bin laden mission mission, but could you restate what you wrote in the article and why the claims are so prevalent? >> the myth surrounding the mission? >> in the days after bin laden was killed there was
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eight understandable level of excitement. this was a huge success. john brennan went overboard to talk about it that was engaged in over 15 years so you can understand the visceral excitement and accomplishment and there was a tremendous amount of excitement so as often happens or as always happens individuals on the white house ba'ath, a pentagon staff talk more than they should about what happens. i don't think anyone gave away national secrets but they did deliver misinformation credit
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characterize the seal rate as the intense firefight. it wasn't. the seals were fired upon one's. they returned fire, the guy who shot at them died. after that there was no more shooting. going to the house room by room in the adult male were sealed once they were fired upon. they cannot wait so they went through the house shot to every adult male in-house accidentally shot the wife of of one of the men. to characterize that to wac people the firefight is a stretch. reflecting animus toward bin
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laden he had been the big life of luxury, i don't know about you but as somebody locked me in a house with 12 children and the three wives, five years, i would not call that looks serious. apparently the wives did not get along well. you can accuse bin laden of many things that he would never go for the good life. he did not have air-conditioning, refrigerat ors comment he saw himself as a holy warrior living a life in preparation to go to the hills at all times as the romantic notion of himself. there were others. one day-old ready addressed of that and -- should measure should leaking information willy-nilly. i wish. that is one of the more frustrating efforts to get
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people to talk to me. the biggest week came from the navy seals who wrote to his own book and he argued he has not leaked any secret information in. if he hasn't then he leaked tons more than anybody else. i know i was left out. also that it was a close call? there let's talk about how divided the president's staff was to talk about this is a seriously gutsy move but it was not him acting alone everyone wanted him to target the person in that company except joe biden the
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one guy in the room said no mr. president you should not do this. you should wait to gather more intelligence and being his running mate was giving political a vice means you know, you will not be elected again if it goes in the toilet. secretary gates advocating shootings the missile got back to his office and his two deputies drag him into the office and said we think you are wrong and beat him up and said i want to change my vote. he changed his mind after that.
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>> as the army begins to downsize the composition of the huge army and what it should look like the bin laden raid showing it can strike where do believe big army operations be long against national terrorism? >> i don't believe there is much of the call of terrorism but there are plenty of other threats that we could face added be a mistake we don't have to fight any type of cigna began our man powered war but history is rife with examples the leadership concludes we will never have to fight again so take apart the army and navy been
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ram -- rapidly try to ramp up. i am not an expert on military issues to do abroad assessment but the most likely threats we face are cyber attacks and terrorist attacks the right now is hard to envision going to war with china or tie 12 face back the invasion of south kerry and we should be adequately prepared for the possibility. >> just to follow of that and the technology peace, we can be hammered with the potential of drones but can
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we push too far with technology 15 years of untamed osama bin laden is that possible with drones and the cia how much gets inside of a massive amount to do that? stock about notes and careers jones will not find those and a critical information was collected by active computing but by hands. how possible is it to combat terrorism if it is not fixed on a map if we don't have partners or allies are human beings on the ground then
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what is the point*? >> you are clearly right. when they did not a decisive enough is the reconstitution of humans by networks all over the world. the cost of those is nothing compared to five nuclear submarines to the military budget. i think we can and to maintain the collection and analysis process in our about -- military without breaking the budget. and the best way to get the most out of the military force but when we faint on those lines we don't want to
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toss out the jt's of having an army even though we may not have a clear example that you could not be more right. we made a big mistake as a country in the 1970's with animosity to this cia and intelligence collection. we have recovered from that terror. morrell as he was leaving the white house on the night bin laden was killed heard the crowds chanting cia. cia. he thought i would never hear that anywhere in america. [laughter] view lived through the '70s it is surprising how much we have rebounded the
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appreciation for intelligence collection on the ground and in the year. >> the national security apparatus you mentioned would become adept at terrorist networks? with the country trying to smooth out the budget you think they will maintain that level of competency? >> these are very cost-effective if we developed such a high level of expertise from those adjusted listed 10 years ago who have now accumulated a tremendous amount of experience i doubt we will lose that capability i would be very surprised to see
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that erode drastically questioning if we could maintain the same high level of diligence but i don't see it as that threatening. that is something that everybody gets. >> that is the end of our allotted time for comments. thank you for your time, mr. bowden, for speaking with us today. [applause] and the other jobs washing
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tin bureau chief, his most recent book the showdown of paul obama's thought -- bought back is the showdown referring to any specific incidents or politics in general? >> both. it is behind the scenes account what happened after the november 2010 election when the republicans and the tea party knocked barack obama for a loop and took control of the house. tax-cut scum of fights over the budget, debt ceiling, deficit-reduction ceiling, deficit-reduction, the awesome a bin laden raid, egypt, libya. how he made the decisions he made and why he took the
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actions that he took but also explained this is done in a way of the theory he could make the 2012 race of choice between different ideologies and approaches to governments and different sets of values. he was it tethered to the idea about a choice. . .